As a parent, having a healthy child is your top priority; you want to ensure their wellbeing and safety. One of the most important aspects to consider is their thyroid health; as thyroid disease can be a serious and potentially long-term medical condition that affects a child’s growth, hormone balance and health. Here’s what you need to know about thyroid disease in children and health implications associated with a thyroid condition.
What is Thyroid Disease in Children?
Thyroid disease, also known as a thyroid disorder, is an imbalance in the hormones produced by the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located at the base of the neck, and its job is to produce several different hormones, two of which are called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). When there is an abnormality in the production of these hormones, it can result in a condition known as thyroid disease.
What are the Symptoms of Thyroid Disease in Children?
The symptoms of thyroid disease in children will vary depending on the type of thyroid disorder they are dealing with. The most common symptoms of thyroid disease include:
- Weight gain or loss
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Difficulty concentrating
Diagnosis and Treatment of Thyroid Disease in Children
The first step to diagnosing and treating thyroid disease in children is to visit your doctor. Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and run a series of blood tests. These tests will measure the levels of thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) in the child’s body to determine if there is an imbalance. Depending on the results of the tests, your doctor may suggest medication, or lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise.
Prevention and Management of Thyroid Disease in Children
Unfortunately, there is no one way to prevent thyroid disease in children, but there are steps that parents can take to help manage the disease. First, it is important to have the child follow a healthy lifestyle, with a balanced diet and regular exercise. This will help to keep their thyroid hormone levels in check. Secondly, it is important to keep up with any scheduled medical appointments and tests, as this will help to keep track of the child’s progress.
Understanding Thyroid Disease in Children
Thyroid disease in children can be frightening and overwhelming, but it is important to stay informed and understand the risks. By knowing the symptoms and understanding the implications of a thyroid disorder, parents can ensure their child’s health and wellbeing. Make sure to visit your doctor for regular check-ups and to follow all treatment plans in order to keep your child safe and healthy.